In a struggle to be happy and free

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Y Kant Trump Read

I’m watching Trump’s daily news conference and it’s quite astonishing. I’ve never heard him speak for any length of time so this has been an education. I’ve noticed a few things.

© 2020 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

I can’t put it any simpler, but that man doesn’t read very well. He can only digest very short portions of his speech at a time. Since he can’t read ahead and put the appropriate stresses in the right places, sentences sometimes sound like they’re over when they’re not. Like children, much of his performance of written speeches come out as a drone because he’s just reading the words and not instilling any meaning in them. His speechwriters must want to stab themselves in their ears, hearing the mess he makes of their words.

He can’t resist adding his own embellishments. If he suddenly says something that sounds awkward or stupid, he’s added a comment of his own. I recall he said that COVID‑19 is affecting a certain number (I don’t remember the exactly quantity) of countries. He then ad libbed after an awkward pause, “all over the world.” Duh. Where else would they be?

He takes the war-like aspect of the battle with the disease so far that I wonder if he really understands what’s going on. He praised the excellent US Military more than once while I’m not sure he mentioned health-care professionals at all.

Everything is a competition to such an extent that I wonder what personal inadequacies he’s suffering. The most jarring was his saying that they have tested for COVID‑19 more than any other country. Who cares? It’s not a contest. There needs to be as much testing as is required by whatever need they have. The quantity of medical testing isn’t judged by comparing test numbers to another country. Otherwise, any time he mentioned a quantity, the US has or did more. Any time he mentioned anything American, it was better than any other country. It was exhausting and reminded me very strongly of the claims of tin-pot dictators. The truly strong don’t brag about it. They don’t need to.

Add all these failings together, and Trump can’t even hold an audience, much less inspire it. The high-school debate club could far outperform him on their worst day. Never mind that he’s not in the same ballpark as the great political orators – he’s not even playing the same sport.

Trump and the Elephant

On Wednesday (March 29), President Trump took a step farther away from presidential behaviour when he posted a four tweet thread about how his daily White House briefings about the COVID‑19 crisis are TV ratings hits. In the middle of a pandemic, the President is worried about his TV ratings.

Here are his tweets:

President Trump is a ratings hit. Since reviving the daily White House briefing Mr. Trump and his coronavirus updates have attracted an average audience of 8.5 million on cable news, roughly the viewership of the season finale of “The Bachelor.” Numbers are continuing to rise...
...On Monday, nearly 12.2 million people watched Mr. Trump’s briefing on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, according to Nielsen — “Monday Night Football” numbers. Millions more are watching on ABC, CBS, NBC and online streaming sites, and the audience is expanding. On Monday, Fox News...
...alone attracted 6.2 million viewers for the president’s briefing — an astounding number for a 6 p.m. cable broadcast, more akin to the viewership for a popular prime-time sitcom...
...The CBS News poll said 13 percent of Republicans trusted the news media for information about the virus." Michael M. Grynbaum @NTTimes

The thing is, he totally doesn’t get it.

Many years ago I recall that there was some issue with a science-fiction convention and J. Michael Straczynski told a little story highlighting how the convention owner wasn’t popular for the reasons he thought. Straczynski drew a mental picture of the circus arriving in town back in the day. All the trucks with all the circus folks driving down main street waving at the residents and their waving back. Then the mayor appears, waving to the crowd, riding an elephant. The crowd waves and cheers him on.

But really, who are the cheers for? Are the crowds cheering the mayor because they recognize him as their mayor, or are they cheering him because he’s on an elephant? Of course it’s the latter. Crowds don’t form around him as he walks down the street. He may get a wave, but no one cheers. It’s that he’s on an elephant that draws the cheers. Indeed, all of the children don’t even care about him at all, for them it’s only the elephant.

Similarly, Trump is sadly mistaken if he thinks he is a ratings success. People want information about COVID‑19 and what their government is doing about it. He just happens to be the one delivering the information.

How does he not see this? Perhaps the non-narcissists are the only ones who don’t understand how he can’t see it.

This is where I was planning on ending this post for today. I made the point I wanted to make. But before I started writing, I thought I might go look at the article that Trump was citing, but to see if managed to misquote it to his pwn advantage. I found the article, and to my great surprise, Trump’s quote were entirely accurate. Except they’re the definition of ‘out of context.’

The article is about whether networks should be covering daily White House briefings live because Trump talked about many things unrelated, and adds in plenty of his own inaccuracies.

Leave it to Trump to make it all about his success when the article is about his failure.

For your edification, the New York Times article is reproduced in its entirely below, with the parts that Trump tweeted in italics. You can see how he carved around the inconvenient parts to change the message.

Willful disregard

Here we go again! You’ll recall My letter to the mayor, in which I relay my thoughts about why it’s such a bad idea to indulge in prayer of one religion before city council meetings. I also asked him if he represented all the residents of the city, or just those who shared his religion. I received no response.

The Niagara Falls Review posted, “Falls mayor apologizes over prayer at council swearing-in.” It seems that as part of the swearing-in ceremony of new city councillors earlier this week, the Mayor included a non-denominational prayer recited by Reverend Chris Kulig. There’s nothing like keeping religion out of city ceremonies like a Reverend reciting a prayer.

Just before the city ceased the practice of opening council meetings with prayers in 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada declared the reciting of prayers before public meetings infringes on people’s freedom of conscience and religion. Three years later the Mayor pulls this garbage.

Given his willful disregard in respecting other’s beliefs, I wrote him again.

I read the Niagara Falls Review article “Falls mayor apologizes over prayer at council swearing-in” online with great interest. You apologized, which I do appreciate. But then you’re quoted as saying, “I was pleased with the inaugural ceremony and proud of the event and the way it was put together,” which entirely nullifies the apology.

I’m at an utter loss to understand how you can not see that your including an observance of one faith makes it clear that you are going out of your way to exclude everyone who has other beliefs.

When this same issue came up over city council meeting prayer, I wrote you and asked if you really represent all residents of the city, or just those who share your faith. You didn’t deign to reply. If it was because I don’t share your faith, I’d really like to know.

So let’s clear the air. Please tell me, do you represent all the residents of Niagara Falls equally, or do you favour those of your faith? It’s a very simple question and I believe I am entitled to an answer since I am a resident.

Looking forward to hearing from you,


PS. Next time please don’t apologize for including prayer in a city ceremony. Simply don’t include prayer in a city ceremony in the first place. Simple!

Do I expect a reply? I really don’t, but I can’t fathom how a politician can really let this go. It’s so ridiculous.

I’ll keep you posted.

Lady Justice

This is Bruce MacKinnon’s editorial cartoon for September 29, 2018, as it appeared in Nova Scotia’s The Chronical Herald.

Despite being “just a cartoon,” it’s such a powerful and disturbing image.

I just hope the FBI manages to unearth some definitive information because I fear they won’t and Brett Kavanaugh will take a seat on the Supreme Court bench. The more moderate among us may find ourselves casting distrustful eyes on the Supreme Court for decades to come.

Hat tip: Jill Barber


My Federal Minister of Parliament posted again on Facebook today. This one is incredibly tone-deaf, even by his standards:

Pro tip: If your sole citation for your point is 38 year-old legislation, you’re doing something very wrong.

When I was reading Twitter, I saw what it was all about. The Conservative leader tweeted about trade. Rob needed to be seen so he Tweeted too. He’s like the little kid at the back of the class frantically waving his arms to get some attention, not realizing how embarrassing it is.

I followed him on Twitter and Facebook because I want to know what he’s doing for his constituents. It seems that most of what he does is praise the Conservatives and bash the Liberals. The people he is supposed to represent only appear when he posts photo-ops or has conferences, the results of which are never posted.

Good work if you can get it.

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